I’ve been wearing leggings for some time now – I remember the first time I wore them in high school to gasps and hallway awe. It’s 2009 and they’re still an integral part of my wardrobe. Finally, there’s less stigma surrounding men in anything ‘tight’ due largely to the skinny jean trend. In tandem, men’s leggings have garnered attention within fashion circles based upon Givenchy’s recent menswear collections. I see leggings as tight pants fit for both sexes. Many disagree and see them only as undergarments for women, but I find leggings to be an elemental piece of body conscious dressing. Always an extremist; garments are either tight or falling off me. And that’s just how I like ’em. There are no ‘in-betweens’ – proportions are important in differentiating from the norm and establishing one’s individuality. To think that men haven’t worn anything that close to the body since the 1800’s is stunning. Honestly, what will it take for men to go back to tights a la Robin Hood? The man without fear of shape or size. The man who’s not afraid of skimp or stare. It’s that certain embrace of one’s own that’s so inspiring. Everyone is made to look different and it seems, due to today’s homogenization and singularity in dress, there’s no room to express anything more than what’s emblazoned on a t-shirt.
Identity is something that’s attained. Part present, part past, it is piece-by-piece a tell-tale to one’s experiences and longings, inspirations and limits. For myself, I see leggings as a derivative of my childhood fondness for Dickens and Twain. Their lead male characters always rose from rags to riches in twig-legged bottoms. It’s something that’s stayed with me from the time I played Artful Dodger in Oliver!; the strong-willed little pickpocket with a Cockney accent. From beggars to royals, streets to kingdoms, chicken-legged looks were something they both shared. The most fantastic characters I remember were mini yet magical. The top-heavy silhouettes from Prince and the Pauper have had a lasting impact on my personal style. The story’s also probably the very thing that influenced my love for mixing high and low – think Givenchy (Prince) and disintegrated tee (Pauper). See above and below for le visual hints.
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